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Thousands of paper snowflakes are on their way to Connecticut to bring joy to the kids at Sandy Hook Elementary School; hundreds of them came from the Washington West Supervisory Union. Although this was not a coordinated districtwide project, almost every school in the district participated. At Warren School, Heidi Ringer’s students created their own way to express their sorrow and compassion as Heidi explains, "My class created a card of interlocking hearts and sent it off before we heard about the snowflake project.” Other teachers at Warren School took the reins and spearheaded the snowflake project, along with teachers from CBMS, HUMS, Moretown Elementary, Fayston Elementary and Waitsfield Elementary School. The WWSU teachers mailed hundreds of paper snowflakes to Sandy Hook on behalf of their students.
People all over the country are making snowflakes as part of a national campaign called “Snowflakes for Sandy Hook.” Teachers at Sandy Hook will use them to line the walls of their classrooms to make going back to school enjoyable. Most of the district’s elementary students only know minor facts about the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. They know that the kids there were hurt and that's why they spent time in their classrooms making paper snowflakes – to show compassion for those fellow students.
Social studies teacher Ruth Hoogenboom (who coordinated the project for the seventh-graders at HUMS) sums up the importance of the project: “After the Sandy Hook Elementary mass shooting, many Americans wondered what they could do to help. This project enabled kids to feel like they could do something to make things better – it took away that feeling of helplessness they all had in the wake of the tragedy.”
Social studies teacher Sarah Ibson, who led the project for the eighth grade, commented, “Sandy Hook students need to feel the love and compassion from fellow students around the country. They need to know that there are good people in the world who care for them and want to help them heal.”
Sandy Hook teachers will hang these snowflakes in their new school to make it a winter wonderland for the children to make them smile – smiles that will hopefully help the community heal. Each of the district schools boxed and sent the snowflakes to Connecticut last week. The goal is to get all the snowflakes, from across the country, to Connecticut by January 12.